CTV Is A Dragon, But With Or Without A Tail?; And Is It Privacy Tech Or Privacy Theater?

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VideoLift

Breaking into connected TV isn’t easy. It takes hard-earned partnerships with dominant distributors like Netflix or Disney.

TripleLift has been attempting to shoulder its way into CTV for some time by insisting that native ad formats work in CTV despite being relatively new.

This week, TripleLift made a bit of progress by scoring a new partnership with Dailymotion, which is a much smaller publisher than Disney or Netflix, but, hey, it’s a start.

Dailymotion is a free video site and streaming service that primarily monetizes the units on its site. It’s not TV, but it is video, and it sometimes reaches the big screen on the wall, which is a step in the right direction for TripleLift.

“The expansion with Dailymotion amplifies TripleLift’s positioning in the CTV marketplace with high-quality video inventory,” Michael Lehman, SVP of global supply and marketplace, tells AdExchanger.

The formats will likely consist of custom video units that appear in-stream or as a content tile on the webpage, and TripleLift will support the buying programmatically.

But TripleLift has also been busy testing AI-supported product placements, which is a souped-up version of the custom creative units it’s known for on the web.

Now TripleLift has to apply its shiny new object to a CTV landscape that’s much less hospitable to the long tail.

Catch The Privacy Matinee

“Privacy tech” is eating ad tech. The trick is to distinguish meaningful change versus privacy theater. 

On the one hand, vendors now hire “privacy engineers” with the same backgrounds and for the same roles that a few years ago would have been called ad tech or monetization engineers. To be fair, they do need people who know the system. (If one plumber wrecks the pipes in your home, your next call is still a plumber.) 

LiveRamp was an early mover in the category. It reframed its business around privacy and privacy-enhancing technologies, including with its clean room offering Safe Haven – which is based on its acquisition of privacy tech startup DataFleets last year – and consent management platform Faktor, now called LiveRamp Privacy Manager, acquired in 2019.

One anecdotal sign of change: The investment consulting group FTI Consulting, which advised Sizmek on its sale to Amazon and Zeta Global in 2019, among other ad tech and digital media deals, relaunched its Ad Tech group as “Digital Advertising and Consent Management Privacy Solutions” headed up by Todd Ruback. If that name sounds familiar, Ruback was Ghostery’s general counsel and chief privacy officer from 2012 to 2018 before GDPR mandated a designated privacy officer. 

As always, many of the main beneficiaries of regulatory scrutiny are lawyers and investment bankers.

Get Real?

BeReal, a French photo-sharing social media startup, has quietly emerged as an interesting player to watch. 

BeReal is kind of like an anti-Instagram. Like TikTok, it takes a more authentic approach rather than pushing filtered photos or a fake FOMO lifestyle. The policies and distribution on the platform do not incentivize influencers, for instance.  

And BeReal is a verified hit, Fast Company writes. It’s the number-one free app in Apple’s US App Store. 

Since BeReal is committed to photo sharing, it benefits as Instagram is dragged into video-focused duels with TikTok. Similar to how Twitter is a fundamentally text-based social platform, despite trying to push into video (just like everyone else), some people prefer photo sharing over video. Instagram vacated some of the market for photo sharers by indexing more toward video.  

BeReal has raised an undisclosed amount, including a Series B in May at a $600 million valuation. (Snuck that in just before a major economic belt-tightening.) 

On the other hand, BeReal is pre-revenue. There are no ads or subscriptions, and it doesn’t try to accommodate brand accounts. The same was true of Instagram before it was acquired by Facebook and placed on the slippery slope to being an ad-fueled business worth tens of billions of dollars.

But Wait, There’s More!

Snap’s shares fell after cutting its forecast, acting as a warning for battered online ad industry stocks. [Bloomberg]

Brand safety vendor Zefr acquires AdVerif.ai, a startup that helps identify misinformation on social platforms. [Adweek]

Social ecommerce company Flip raises $60 million at a valuation of $500 million. [release]

Performance agency Stirista acquires digital branding firm ZDI. [release]

Macy’s speeds up plans to open smaller stores outside of malls. [CNBC]

Why mediation is the primary front in the post-ATT mobile advertising wars. [Mobile Dev Memo]

You’re Hired!

Former Mastercard SVP Patrick Reynolds joins BlueConic as CMO. [release]

Michael McLaren joins Bounteous as president for North America. [release]

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